Lying, flat on my back and staring up above me, wondering if I’ll ever be high enough to kiss the ceiling rather than stare at the distance between us.
Lying, wrapped in my blankets like a burrito but unable to feel their warmth, the coldness in my heart emanating from my chest and forming a restrictive bubble around my icy body.
I don’t need her. I don’t need her to scoop me up when I fall. I don’t need her ease the pain, to calm the jellyfish frantically swimming inside the walls of my stomach. I don’t need her to tell me that everything is okay, that she thinks I’m special, so special that she would take the time out of her hectic schedule just to pass a moment looking me in the eye. A single word from her lips has the power to clear away piles of doubt in my mind, wiping them out of my head like the windshields of my car windows wipe away the muck and the fog.
But I don’t need her anymore. I don’t need the reassurance from someone who will only hand it over reluctantly after I tug and tug, begging and pleading and falling at my knees. I don’t need the support from someone whose support is so rickety that she can barely bolster herself. I don’t need the love from someone whose love is so thin, so mercurial, so flimsy, so insubstantial and elusive.
I am strong. I have carved out a nest of peace for myself, despite her absence. Despite the fact that her eyes, her gaze, once warm and open, are now like dark, cold tunnels, shooting stinging, piercing daggers at me with a single stare. I don’t need her if her presence requires me to fall flat at her feet and give up everything I hold dear. I have at least a shred of self-respect, and it has given me the will to splash with ice-cold water, wake up and walk away from her sickly sweet, alluring and lethal venom.
But sometimes when I’m lying flat on my back and staring up above me, I have to muffle my screams into my pillow. NO, NO, NO! No! I don’t need her anymore. I have to tell myself that, but I know that it’s only half-true. I know even now that a part of me still does. Though I no longer play her words in my head on repeat every day, a part of me still shudders when I hear her name, and the dormant jellyfish start to swim. It’s nights like those, lying on my back, wrapped like a burrito, and listening to heartbreaking melodies, I wonder. I wonder if things would have been different. I wonder…what would have happened….if I hadn’t told her.